*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on November 1, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Cloisters-Novel-Katy-Hays-ebook/dp/B09ZVJX964/
THE CLOISTERS BY KATY HAYS
After her father’s death, Ann Stillwell leaves the small town of Walla Wall, Washington for a job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But upon arriving, she is told that there isn’t a spot for her there. Instead, she is offered a position at the Cloisters, medieval museum. She works for Patrick, the museum’s curator, and with Rachel who becomes a very close friend. She also meets the gardener, Leo, to whom she becomes attracted.
During after hours at the museum, Ann leans that Rachel and Patrick read tarot cards. Patrick seeks the last card of a rare tarot deck to complete the set. He hopes to obtain this from an antique dealer. Ann comes upon the card accidentally and confides in Rachel that she’s found it. The two plan to capitalize on the find but wait for the right time to do so.
As Ann and Rachel grow closer because of their shared secret, Ann and Leo drift apart. Ann meets up with an old friend from her hometown who tells her some disturbing things about Rachel. While Ann doesn’t believe them, she is still concerned that she may not know her friend as well as she thinks.
One night, Ann joins Patrick, Rachel, and Leo in reading the tarot cards. This time, they ingest a mixture prepared by Leo that contains a small amount of a Belladonna plant that is poisonous in a higher concentration. They seek to achieve a state of enlightenment to help them receive the messages of the cards. The next day, Patrick is found dead,
Without giving away the rest of the book and the twists that follow, I would recommend this novel to those interested in divination arts, medieval history, and mysteries. I found the pace of the chapters leading up to the murder somewhat slow. After that point, the story really picked up.